Re: possible retrograde tumbler?

From: Alain Figer via Seesat-l <>
Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2019 20:15:44 +0200
Hi Mark,

Maybe I found a possible candidate as 2012-014A, USA 234, FIA Radar 2,
inclination= 123°
although I did not know it as a short periodic tumbler.

Here is an excerpt from Calsky database about it :

Name:          *USA 234 / FIA Radar 2*
Military Sat.: *Topaz 2/NROL-25. Second US National
               Reconnaissance Office (NRO) radar imaging
               satellite of the series named Future Imagery
               Architecture (FIA).*
Brightness:     4.0 mag (at 1000 km, 50% illuminated)
                3.5 mag (at perigee, full illumination)
               Mean magnitude from visual observations
RCS:           12m2 (Radar cross section)
USSPACECOM Nr: *38109*  Internat. Designator: *2012-014*
Orbit:         1098 x 1109 km, 107.3min  Inclination: 123.0°
Age Elements:  7.2 days (Orbit from amateur sources)

Alain Figer
44.57°N  6.68° E, 1850m a.s.l.

Le mer. 10 avr. 2019 à 19:32, Mark Hammergren via Seesat-l <> a écrit :

> My apologies if this is not the place to pose this question.
> I observed what appeared to be a fairly bright satellite travelling
> towards the western horizon at a slight N-S angle (i.e., mostly
> vertically going down E to W), with regular, smooth brightness
> variations with roughly a ten second peak-to-peak period (as my memory
> serves).
> This was roughly at 0019 UT on 4/9, from Evanston Illinois (42.04 N,
> 87.68W), at a rough initial azimuth of 265 degrees and elevation of
> about 20 degrees.
> There were several jets passing through the same area of the sky, and
> they all displayed extended contrails with no specular brightness
> variations.
> Does anyone know of any candidates for what this might have been?
> Thanks in advance.
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Received on Wed Apr 10 2019 - 13:16:35 UTC

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